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It's a Great Time to be Older

Friday, November 17, 2017

I am currently amidst the millions of Boomers who are entering the span of 65 or older. The fact is that I share the feelings of many of my cohorts; I feel about 10-15 years younger than my calendar years. It is with some trepidation, but also lots of excitement, that I begin this next chapter of my life. There are many factors that have enabled an older adult of 2017 to seize upon life and have an abundance of choices in which direction they would like to go.


Among the many choices facing me and other older adults is choosing where I might live. The options are vast today. An older adult may choose to remain at home, move into a 55+ community, or move into a senior adult community or Life Plan Community. In addition to those options, new concepts are emerging such as Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC’s). Many individuals are beginning to connect and consolidate in order to meet their everyday and long term needs. Not only have like-aged people joined forces, younger adults have begun to connect with older adults with a symbiotic benefit to both groups: the older adult benefits from the energy, oversight, and handyman abilities of the younger adult while the younger adult benefits from housing, companionship, and wisdom from the older adult.


Additionally, a number of services and technologies aimed at seniors has greatly enabled an older adult to remain at home longer, should one choose that option. The provision of home care and home health services has grown tremendously since the early 2000’s. Residential services such as Angie’s List, Home Adviser, TaskRabbit or HandyMan have enabled people to remain in their homes while someone else provides home maintenance. Smart technology offers other services such as: reminders (i.e. to take meds); alerts to others when one is in distress; bathtubs that open like car doors; toilets that clean you; and virtual connections to everyone from your family members to medical personnel.


Many Life Plan Communities have begun to address some of the 90% of older adults who choose to remain at home. Progressive communities have begun Continuing Care at Home (CCaH) programs that offer future assurances to its members while they continue to live in their original home.

Turn Back Time Continuing Care at HomeSENIOR COMMUNITIES ARE ADVANCING

In response to the changing desires of Boomers, many of these retirement communities are becoming more vibrant rather than custodial. Residents are truly integrated into the fiber of the community’s neighborhood and management. Hospitality is the center of programming and lifestyle. Individual choice, rather than herding, becomes the cornerstone for planning.

Wellness is also taking a front seat at communities today. Management tends to be interested in whole-person wellness so that a resident is not only functioning at his/her physical best but also maintains the highest possible level of emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual health. Research continues in this field to reveal that health in all of these areas has a direct impact on overall health and longevity.


Unlike our forefathers, an older adult today will probably not succumb to a passing illness. Gone are the days of polio, massive deaths due to influenza, or other illnesses. Many medical breakthroughs have been able eradicate disease and even medicate chronic conditions; however, there is still much work to be done in the areas of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Additional breakthroughs are the promise of tomorrow.


Finally, it is great to grow older in 2017 because we have a VOICE. Our numbers mandate that retail and government must listen to us! Boomers have historically made major changes as they’ve aged through each decade. I’m sure we will leave our mark even as we continue to age.

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